Perth Glory Football Club has bolstered its defensive stocks for the next two Hyundai A-League campaigns after signing experienced English defender Joseph Mills.
The 26-year old attacking full-back is a product of Southampton Football Club's academy where he trained and lived with Welsh and English superstars Gareth Bale and Theo Walcott. He made his debut for the Saints senior team at just 18.
Mills hails from a football family and has plied his trade in the tough divisions of the English Championship and League One, over the past eight (8) years and has made nearly 180 appearances for Southampton, Reading, Burnley and more recently Oldham Athletic.
He and his brother Matthew (currently at Nottingham Forest FC) have represented the ‘Three Lions’ (England) at youth level (U-17, U-18 and U-19).
Mills said the excitement of a new challenge and playing in a different country was the lure behind signing a two year deal.
“I know that it is a tough league, but a very technical game, which is one of the reasons why it attracted me to it.
“I've enjoyed playing in England so far and had some very successful moments, this was just an opportunity that is something I couldn't turn down. It’s a great club that wants to accomplish things, and I want to be a part of that” Mills said.
His arrival in Perth will also be somewhat of a homecoming with older brother Jonathan calling WA home, for the past five years.
“My brother and his wife and son have lived in Perth, so he has always told me about the city and how it's a great place to live”.
“I don't know any of the current players, but have played against a few of them in England and have run into Andy Keogh a few times over summer while on holiday”.
Coach Kenny Lowe, who is currently on a tour of Spain and England meeting with players and agents, said Mills brought many qualities to the line-up.
“He’s a technical player, who likes to get on the ball and is an excellent defender” he said.
“Although the Championship and other divisions are known to be tough leagues, I think the attacking nature of the A-League will suit him. You can see where he’s played which means we’ve got competition for places” Lowe said.
Mills said his plan during his two-year tenure was simple.
“The goal for next season is to try and be competitive and successful in every area that we compete. I don't enjoy losing and from seeing the team at the end of last season, there seems to be a good winning mentality within the squad” he said.
Mills is the club's fourth signing for next season and is due to arrive in Perth next month ahead of the pre-season campaign.
Meantime, goalkeeper Jerrad Tyson and Perth Glory have agreed to part ways.
The 26-year old made two appearances for Glory during last year's Westfield FFA Cup campaign, which included three stunning saves in a dramatic penalty shootout against Newcastle Jets in the Round of 32.
The club would like to wish Jerrad the best of luck in his next football adventure.